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Last Updated: Friday, 1 June 2007, 21:28 GMT 22:28 UK
Oil prices rise by more than $1
US petrol reserves
US fuel prices have been pushed up by supply problems
Oil prices have rebounded to close more than a dollar a barrel higher mark amid concerns about supplies in the US.

In New York, light sweet crude closed $1.07 higher at $65.08 while in London Brent crude rose $1.03 to $69.07.

Analysts said prices had resumed their upward path after news BP had delayed restarting an oil refinery in Chicago.

Elsewhere, US figures also showed a surprise drop in US crude stockpiles, prompting concern that supplies will be unable to meet peak summer demand.

The key demand season for petrol in the US has kicked in, with the tight supplies pushing petrol prices well above $3 a gallon.

Stocks slip

The US Energy Department report showed domestic oil inventories fell by 2 million barrels, or 0.6%, to 342.2 million barrels in the week to 25 May.

Analysts had expected a rise of 300,000 barrels.

However, there was some good news as the report showed gasoline stocks had risen by 1.3 million barrels to 198 million during the period.

Stocks fears were further driven by reports that the oil group had been forced to delay reopening two units at its refinery in Whiting, Indiana, from June to September as a result of fire damage.

The Chicago-area refinery has a capacity to process 420,000 barrels of crude oil a day (bpd), but has been running around 200,000 bpd since the fire.

"The pipeline and refinery news today was definitely supportive. We can't afford to lose a drop of fuel," said Phil Flynn at Alaron Trading.

Recent rises in oil prices had been driven by fears that stockpiles were insufficient to cover rising demand from drivers during the key summer holiday driving season.


The increase in crude prices was in sharp contrast to earlier in the trading day on Friday when prices slipped back below $68 a barrel.

News that protesters who were occupying a major export pipeline in Nigeria were expelled by community elders, allowing valves to reopen and for crude oil to flow, had briefly helped ease supply concerns.

About a third of oil from Nigeria is currently unavailable - primarily due to sabotage and attacks.

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